Georgieva v. Holder, No. 13-1792 (7th Cir. 2014)Annotate this Case
Georgieva and her husband Dimitrov, Bulgarian citizens, were admitted to the U.S. in 2002 under the visa waiver program and timely requested asylum, withholding of removal, and protection under the Convention Against Torture. Because of continuances, they did not appear before an immigration judge until 2011. Georgieva described bullying she experienced as a Roma child; not being admitted to college because she was Roma; being tricked by her employer and “forced to have sex with a strange man who paid for her like she was meat;” having the police refuse to act; becoming involved Euroroma, which advocates for Roma rights in Europe; receiving threats from associates of her former boss; being abducted outside the Euroroma office and beaten; and being denied medical attention. Dimitrov testified that Georgieva suffered from pain and headaches as a result of the beating. Both testified that they fear persecution if returned to Bulgaria; their families have left that country. They have American-born sons, aged six and 10. The older son has been diagnosed with autism. The immigration judge noted many discrepancies in the testimony, found that there was not enough corroborating documentary evidence, and ordered the couple removed to Bulgaria. The BIA affirmed. The Seventh Circuit denied a petition for review.